Dr Marco de Jong

Dr Marco de Jong is a Pacific historian and lecturer at the AUT Law School. He was raised in Tāmaki Makaurau with ties to Papa Puleia in Sāmoa.

Marco’s work details the history of the environmental movement in the Pacific Islands with a particular focus on anti-nuclearism, Indigenous knowledge, nature conservation, and climate change.

Marco completed a doctorate at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. His thesis argued for a distinctive Pacific environmentalism that combines a customary body of knowledge about Pacific ecologies shaped over centuries, with decolonial principles, international science, and regional politics.

Previously Marco has written on Aotearoa’s role in regional movements for anti-nuclearism and independence, interviewing campaigners, policy makers, and nuclear survivors.

Outside of research, he has worked in civil society organisations and independent thinktanks advocating for a progressive, demilitarised foreign policy for Aotearoa.

Across this work, and in the context of entwined ecological and political crises, his firm belief is that there is power in stories which demonstrate Indigenous peoples’ commitment to environmental justice in perpetuity.

The Judith Binney Fellowship will allow him to expand his doctorate for publication and further explore Pacific contributions to global environmental governance.


Elizabeth Bowyer

Elizabeth Bowyer is a Wellington based historian who has recently submitted her PhD thesis Women Contracting in Law, c.1840-1920: Gender and settler colonialism in the courts of Aotearoa New Zealand in the History Programme at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.

Elizabeth has a passionate interest in women’s relationship with the law in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Aotearoa, and uses Aotearoa’s court and legal records to understand the juncture between legal application, gender, race, and settler colonialism.

According to legal doctrine inherited with the English common law, most married women could not have been property owners, buyers or sellers of land and goods. However, legal doctrines do not reflect Aotearoa’s legal archives where women are present as legal subjects in significant numbers.

‘Reading legislation and legal doctrines to understand the workings of the law in colonial spaces generates more questions than answers as to how the law in settler colonies like New Zealand was working,’ she says.

‘My research explores how the law evolved in colonial New Zealand, shaping the ways women functioned legally, economically and socially in colonial society.’

The Judith Binney Writing Award will enable Elizabeth to convert her thesis work into a book manuscript. She looks forward to her PhD research becoming part of scholarly conversations surrounding Aotearoa’s legal history and contributing to our understandings of Māori and Pākehā women’s buying and selling of property in colonial Aotearoa.


Elizabeth Cox

Elizabeth Cox is a Wellington historian, currently working as a senior historian at Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage, where she is the General Editor of the Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. She is also an experienced architectural historian, having worked in the heritage field for over a decade, exploring the history of New Zealand’s heritage buildings.

She has published two books, the latest being Making Space: A history of New Zealand women in architecture (Massey University Press, 2022). Her first book was about the heritage battle to save Old St Paul’s, Wellington, A Friend Indeed: The Saving of Old St Paul’s (2018). 

The Judith Binney Writing Award will allow Elizabeth to advance a new project – an exploration of the Thomas Ward Map of Wellington, drawn in 1891, and what it can tell us about the history of the city.

On the map, the exact footprint of every single building in Wellington is recorded – every house, verandah, bay window, outdoor toilet and garden shed, and every commercial building. Data is recorded for every building, and a copy of the map was updated for the next decade – allowing us to follow every change in the city over a ten-year period.  

Elizabeth says: ‘From these maps emerge all sorts of stories – slum clearances, hotels and cafes, recreation, women-run boarding houses, inner-city factories, religion, rubbish destruction, crime and more. I’m really keen to particularly focus on the communities living in the city, including Te Atiawa and other Māori, Jewish, Chinese, Middle Eastern peoples, and other ethnic communities.’

This project will be an innovative and creative way to examine the Wellington portrayed in the maps and how its neighbourhoods and communities functioned and changed in the 1890s and 1900s.


Dr Cheryl Ware

Dr Cheryl Ware is a senior research fellow at the University of Auckland with expertise in oral history, and histories of sex, gender, and health. Cheryl is passionate about engaging with individuals’ life histories to enrich and complicate existing historical narratives.   

The Judith Binney Trust Writing Award will allow her to complete her manuscript on histories of sex work in Aotearoa, which will be published by Auckland University Press.   

Her forthcoming book explores the intimate experiences of sex workers responsible for and affected by New Zealand’s pioneering sex work legislation. It reveals both the evolution of a national sex worker community, and the tensions that emerged as sex workers fought for financial, physical, and emotional safety amidst some of the biggest social and political upheavals in late-twentieth and early-twenty-first-century Aotearoa.  

Cheryl says that narrators’ memories and private reflections guide us towards a deeper understanding of histories of sex work that is only accessible through the voices of those who lived through this period.